SoxProspects News

July 10, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Cup of Coffee: Knuckleballer Wright cruises in Pawtucket, Portland drops two


7/10  Cup of Coffee: It was a forgettable day down on the farm as only two affiliates managed victories: Pawtucket and the DSL Red Sox. Portland dropped two halves of a doubleheader, Salem and Greenville lost big and Lowell dropped a tight contest. The GCL Red Sox were postponed due to rain. 

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The Pawtucket Red Sox defeated the Columbus Clippers (CLE) 3-1 behind the strength of Steven Wright. Wright (Pictured) was excellent in the contest; he threw eight scoreless innings and yielded only two hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. The PawSox backed up Wright with just enough offense to take home the victory; the team collected nine hits and drew two walks on the night. Catcher Dan Butler slugged a solo home run in the third inning to break the scoreless tie. The PawSox added two more runs in the top of the eighth inning when leadoff hitter Jonathan Herrera scored on a wild pitch and first baseman Travis Shaw scored on a double by outfielder Alex Hassan. Herrera and center fielder Corey Brown collected multi-hit games: both were 2 for 4. 

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The Portland Sea Dogs dropped both halves of a doubleheader to the Binghamton Mets (NYM) Wednesday: they lost the first game 6-1 and the second game 1-0. In the first game, the 6-1 loss, the PawSox were not able to muster much offense collecting only six hits and leaving six men on base. The lone run of the game, and the day, came off the bat of third baseman Michael Almanzar when he slugged his first home run of the Double-A season. Almanzar was 2 for 3 in the game. Right fielder Peter Hissey also collected two hits. Portland starter Chris Aguilera tossed all six innings of the shortened game. He gave up 10 hits, six earned runs and two home runs. The bulk of the damage came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Binghamton netted four runs. 

While the second contest was much closer, the result was the same: a loss. This game was dominated by pitching as only five hits were collected between both teams. The Sea Dogs had four of the five hits, but Binghamton's lone hit was a solo home run, which was the difference in the game. Portland starter Mike McCarthy went four solid innings; he yielded only the one hit, walked three and struck out five. He was relieved by Wilfredo Boscan and Aaron Kurcz, both of whom pitched perfect innings.

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The Salem Red Sox lost a forgettable contest to the Frederick Keys (BAL) by a score of 8-1. The lopsided score belies the results, however, as the Keys scored seven runs in the final three innings to take home the big win. Starter Justin Haley was very solid in hi six innings of work; he yielded only one earned run, no walks and three hits while striking out six. He lowered his season ERA to 2.73 after the night. The bullpen was not able to maintain the tie once Haley left the game as they yielded seven earned runs, all charged to Madison Younginer. Notable offensive players included third baseman Reed Gragnani, who was hitless but drew three walks, and catcher Carson Blair, who was 2 for 3 with one run.

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Despite scoring six runs, the Greenville Drive fell to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 13-6. Leading the Drive offense were the following batters: second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Pictured), who was 2 for 5 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI and third baseman Aneudis Peralta who was 2 for 4 with an RBI. First baseman Kevin Mager was 1 for 4 and collected the only other extra-base hit: a triple. Drive pitchers did not fare well, but only eight of the 13 runs were earned. Starter Jamie Callahan was solid in the game through five innings of work; he gave up three runs, all earned, and struck out six. In three innings of relief, Jason Garcia and Raynel Velette combined to give 10 runs in three innings, but only five were earned. 

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The Lowell Spinners fell to the Staten Island Yankees (NYY) 5-3. The Spinners trailed from the top of the first inning onward, and were never able to muster a comeback attempt except for the bottom of the eight. Trailing 5-1 entering the inning, the Spinners scratched across two runs on Jordan Betts' RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Franklin Guzman. It wasn't enough though, as the Spinners were never able to close the remaining two-run gap.

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The DSL Red Sox scratched out a 1-0 victory over the DSL Rockies. The lone run came on a Juan Hernandez ground out in the top of the fifth inning. Needless to say, the DSL pitching was excellent. Two pitchers combined for all nine innings: starter Ritizi Mendoza, who pitched five, and Jervis Torrealba, who pitched four. Both yielded only three hits each, and combined to strike out nine. 

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The GCL Red Sox were rained out.

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Player of the Day: On a day where there were not many excellent performances, Pawtucket starter Steven Wright's gem really stood out. Wright, a right-handed knuckleballer, has been extremely effective in eight International League starts. So far, he's compiled a 2.04 ERA and held batters to a batting average in 53 innings. Most impressive, however, is Wright's command: he's yielded only 12 walks and struck out 48 batters.

Photo Credit: Steven Wright and Carlos Asuaje by Kelly O'Connor. 

 
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